Lets get one thing straight – Camperdown & Out are by no means an all-star Sydney super group – but perhaps the self-deprecating title of the band would suggest that sort of attitude. Formed out of necessity and a mutual appreciation of legendary acts spat out of 80s Australia/New Zealand, the group take their name from the inner-western suburb of Sydney, combined with a few tales of woe and redemption.
Made up of Nathan Roche (Marf Loth), Alex Kiers (Raw Prawn), David Akerman (Dead Farmers) and Chris Shortt (Royal Headache) Camperdown & Out have set out to salute their heroes in the Go Betweens, Ed Kuepper, Paul Kelly, The Clean, along with the obvious slaps on the back to internationals such as Lou Reed and sunshine British wino Kevin Ayers.
In recent years fans and critics have claimed that Australian pride is making a welcoming return to rock music, only without the cringe. Long gone are the days without Internet where songwriters were forced to gain inspiration from their own landscape, music and often bleak and isolated surroundings.
Camperdown & Out take inspiration from the sea and sunshine of the coast and the beers and dark bars of the inner-west and beyond. After initially meeting each other in the Sydney live circuit in one another’s separate bands, the original jams and recording sessions were intended for no purpose other than a harmless laugh and a yarn on a Wednesday night above King Street.
Truth be told, they spent more time at the bar across the road and the Italian restaurant down the street than with their instruments.
After a few local, inner city shows, things began to fall into place and refused to be shifted. A natural, uninhibited, almost organic feeling surrounds the band. To a listener, it might even be considered a lazy sort of sensation that can be heard in the jangly chords and loose rhythms. This is intentional.